Networks of violence: predicting conflict in Nigeria

Cassy Dorff, Max Gallop, Shahryar Minhas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


Civil conflicts are complex: multiple warring parties compete for control of territory both against each other and the government. These processes are often dynamic; changing over time and space. In this study, we embrace these complexities through a network based approach. By considering important relational patterns, such as reciprocity and transitivity, and tying them together with existing theoretical developments in the conflict processes literature, we answer the question of 'who fights whom and when' during civil conflict. Further, using the case of Nigeria, we offer novel theoretical insights about how the entrance of a new, aggressive actor can decisively alter the trajectory of conflict. In addition, we show that our approach is better at predicting 'who fights whom and when' in an out-of-sample context than extant approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-493
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number2
Early online date5 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • civil conflict
  • network analysis
  • rebellion
  • Nigeria


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